Contest For Grandparents: Grab That Chance

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Opportunities knock at your door very rarely. It is up to you to recognize them in the right time and use them to achieve your goals in life. That’s the moral of a story sent to us by Rameeza Rasheed. She explains her choice: I remember a story my grandmother has narrated to me few times and she was very particular to know from me and my cousins who lived in a joint family, the lesson we have learnt from this story. This story always excited us, since, my grandmother used to enact the story. Those days, we didn’t realise that the moral of that story would guide us in later years and help us immensely. I have narrated this story to all my students during 30 years of my service as a college teacher, to my little sisters, relative’s children and to my grand children.

Once upon a time, during a rainy season, a village in Tamil Nadu, which was located near a river, was having continuous rain for five days. Naturally the level of water in the river had been rising and causing tension to the people living in that village due to the possibility of flood if the rain continues for few more days .Most of the homes in the village were huts . They were waiting for the local administration to make some announcement regarding the continuation of the rain and possibility of flood. On the sixth day morning when it was raining heavily, the village Panchayat President gathered all the families in the village temple through beating of the drum. To them he told that, “a flood situation is emerging and hence, all of you move out of our village as early as possible with your belongings. If you don’t heed to this instruction you may lose your lives and belongings”.
Immediately, all of them returned home, hurriedly packed their belongings as much as possible, filled their family members and the goods in their bullock carts. They even accommodated their village folks who did not own carts and started moving out of the village. While they were crossing the border of the village they happened to see the solitary hut in the village border where, an old man was living alone. He was standing near the main door and watching the villagers evacuating the village. They knew that, he is in need of help and hence, asked him to get into their carts and warned about the consequence of not leaving the village. But he refused to join them saying, “God will save me, since, I am a deeply religious person and never failed in my religious duties”. Their further attempts to coax him failed and hence, they left him in his hit.
Very soon the entire village was emptied and soon the village was flooded. His hut too was flooded and hence, he claimed on to the roof top. Then few boats ,sent by the local administration were searching for the left out people so that , they can save their lives .When they found this man sitting on the roof top , they asked him to get into the boat to save his life. But, very firmly, he refused to do so, saying that,” God will save him”. They went away after failing to convince him, By then the flood water level increased and immersed his whole hut, and he had to jump on to the tree top to save himself from drowning . Then a helicopter arranged by the police department was searching for helpless people and they found this old man clinging to the tree top and went near him and commanded him to get into the helicopter, He refused saying that, “, God will save him”. They too left him after scolding him for his foolishness.
All through this time, there was continuous rain and very soon the tree on which he was sitting was uprooted and fell down into the deep flood water along with him. He didn’t know swimming and was about to get drowned. Then, he got very angry on God and addressed God very loudly, asking Him why He was not extending help to him though he had been ardently worshipping Him all through his life and had pinned his faith on Him alone to survive from this flood .He further asked God, “How can the God whom he trusted whole heartedly, let him down now without helping in any way and watch him die?”
For some time there was total silence. Then the God appeared before him and said, “Yes. I know you are as my ardent devotee and that is the reason, I had taken special efforts to save you from this flood. First, I sent help through fellow villagers with carts, then through the boats sent by the government and finally through the helicopter sent by the police. But foolishly you didn’t make use of the opportunities I had created for you to save your life. Please remember that, God will not appear in person to help all the devotees. He will only create opportunities to people who pray for help during crises. It is up to you to decide, how, the opportunities created to save you from bad situations can be used by you. You’re drowning to not because I was not listening to your prayers but, due to your failure to use the golden chances which were created to help you.” After these words and God disappeared and the old man could not survive and drowned.

About Author

Dr. Prof. Rameeza Rasheed